9 Ways to Reuse Berry Baskets

Keep peels out of drain Don’t clog up your kitchen drain with peelings from potatoes or carrots. Use a berry

Keep peels out of drain
Don’t clog up your kitchen drain with peelings from potatoes or carrots. Use a berry basket as a sink strainer to catch those vegetable shavings as they fall.

Store soap pads and sponges
Are you tired of throwing away prematurely rusted steel wool soap pads or smelly sponges? Place a berry basket near the corner of your kitchen sink and line the bottom with a layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Fashion a spout on a corner of the foil closest to the sink that can act as a drain to keep water from pooling up at the bottom of the basket. Now sit back and enjoy the added longevity of your soap pads and sponges.

Use as a colander
Need a small colander to wash individual servings of fruits and vegetables or to drain off that child’s portion of hot macaroni shells? Get your hands on an empty berry basket. It makes a dandy colander for these chores.

Hold recycled paper towels
Don’t toss out those lightly used paper towels in your kitchen. You can reuse them to wipe down countertops or to soak up serious spills. Keep a berry basket in a convenient location in your kitchen to have your recycled towels at the ready when needed.

Use as dishwasher basket
If the smaller items you place in your dishwasher (such as baby bottle caps, jar lids, and food-processor accessories) won’t stay put, try putting them in a berry basket. Place the items inside one basket, then cover over with a second basket. Fasten them together with a thick rubber band and place on your dishwasher’s upper rack.

Arrange flowers
Droopy or lopsided flower arrangements just don’t cut it. That’s why the pros use something known as a frog to keep cut flowers in place. To make your own, insert an inverted berry basket into a vase (cut the basket to fit, if necessary). It will keep your stalks standing tall.

Protect seedlings
Help young plants thrive in your garden by placing inverted berry baskets over them. The baskets will let water, sunlight, and air in, but keep raccoons and squirrels out. Make sure the basket is buried below ground level and tightly secured (placing a few good-sized stones around it may suffice).

Make a bulb cage
Squirrels and other rodents view freshly planted flower bulbs as nothing more than tasty morsels and easy pickings. But you can put a damper on their meal by planting bulbs in berry baskets. Be sure to place the basket at the correct depth, then insert the bulb and cover with soil.

Build a hanging orchid planter
Orchids are said to be addictive: Once you start collecting them, you can’t stop. If you’ve got the bug, you can at least save yourself a bit of money by making your own hanging baskets for your orchids. Fill up a berry basket with sphagnum moss mixed with a bit of potting soil and suspend it with a length of monofilament fishing

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest